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Manga / Naruto Gaiden

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Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (or just, Naruto Gaiden) is a Post-Script Season Spinoff Mini Series sequel to Naruto, written and drawn by series creator Masashi Kishimoto. The series received an animated adaptation as part of the Boruto anime.

The series takes place a few years after the Distant Finale to the main series and is set sometime before the events of Boruto: Naruto the Movie. It focuses on Sarada Uchiha, the daughter of Sasuke, who finds herself asking questions about her family. What's her father like? Why did he leave when she was a baby? Why has he never been around while she was growing up? And Sakura really her mother, or is it Sasuke's former teammate Karin?

A series of events has her leaving the village in hope of seeing her father, and answering some of the questions she has. But at the same time, Sarada is pursued by a mysterious hooded figure and his "son": a young boy named Shin. Both of them have the Sharingan, despite the Uchiha being all but wiped out many years ago...


Warning: Late-Arrival Spoiler from the original Naruto manga.

Naruto Gaiden contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Shin Sr., big time. Can't get any worse than using your own child -even if it's a clone- as a human shield and then an organ donor.
  • Action Mom: Sakura Haruno has taken up the role towards Sarada. When she and the recently returned Sasuke were under threat, she got pissed off...
  • Advertised Extra: While Boruto was seen prominently in the promotional material for this spinoff, he has a rather small role. Instead, the story is focused mainly on Sarada.
  • Affably Evil: Orochimaru chats politely with Sasuke and Naruto, like they're old friends visiting for tea. It may have something to do with the fact that those two are the strongest people alive and he's really not trying to piss them off. He also knows behaving himself to some degree is a necessity if he wants to continue living as he is.
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  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Sakura gives Sarada this when she was younger, in the same fashion that Itachi used to do to Sasuke. At the end of Gaiden, Sasuke himself does this to Sarada.
  • Alone with the Psycho: After Shin Sr. performs the organ transplant on himself, he tries to invoke this to Sakura but it backfires. Turns out, Sakura had been trying to get as much information out of him as she could before "tidying things up".
  • Ambiguous Gender: Played for laughs when Chocho can't figure out if Orochimaru is a man or a woman (thanks to the more effeminate look he's using these days.
  • Artificial Human: Shin Jr. is a younger clone of his father.
  • The Assimilator: Shin's body makeup allows him to take anything into himself without fear of rejection. He thus wishes to take Sasuke's eyes for his own.
  • Ascended Extra: Meanwhile, Sasuke's daughter, Sarada, is the main protagonist.
  • Badass Boast: Shin to his clones. This boast fails horribly.
    "In order to fulfill our objective, we shall now commence...the revival of Akatsuki."
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Boruto: He does not like the Hokage title, job or anything to do with it.
    • For Shin Jr.: Sasuke outright makes him homicidal and furious. Seeing Naruto has this effect on him as well. Turns out he was following his "father's" example and when Shin's defeated later, all the clones get over it.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Oh Shin, Shin, Shin. He tried so hard to be threatening and wanted nothing more than to drag the world into war to satisfy his sadistic social darwinism. Too bad he sucks at it.
  • Breakout Character: Sarada can be considered this, due to being the first non-base-breaking Uchiha character since Shisui to be created and having a well-rounded personality. Even her family issues are judged more sympathetic than Boruto; Boruto complains about his dad never being around him enough, despite Naruto's efforts to the contrary, whereas Sasuke has straight up been absent for nearly all of Sarada's life.
  • Broken Aesop: The manga presents the message that genes don't matter and that the bonds constructed by people through social interactions is what determines who they are. The last few pages reveal that Sakura was Sarada's biological mother all along. One could interpret this as defeating the point, but on the other hand, Sarada decided that it didn't matter either way before this was revealed. It's also possible that this message could be more directly applied to Shin's clones and their relationship with their "father."
  • Broken Pedestal: Sasuke becomes this to Sarada. Their first meeting completely tarnished whatever fatherly image she had of him. His coldness towards her did not help. Later, she admits that while he may not be the best dad, his abilities are impressive. By the end of Gaiden, her relationship with Sasuke improves.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Shin Jr.'s first act is to attack Sasuke; this is just as hilariously one-sided as it sounds. He later one ups himself trying to attack Naruto, again to no meaningful effect.
  • The Bus Came Back: After not appearing on the epilogue, this spin-off shows what happened to Orochimaru and Team Taka after the war.Kabuto also appears in the epilogue.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After Sarada's Broken Pedestal moment, she finally calls out Sasuke's absence in her life and Sakura's keeping secrets from her.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Chocho fantasizes that one or both of her parents aren't really hers despite the obvious family resemblances. Mitsuki considers the possibility that she needs some real professional help, much to her annoyance.
  • Character Shilling: Naruto praises Sasuke to Sarada by calling him an admirable ninja, even after she grows disillusioned with her father. Nothing less could be expected, however, given his audience and the circumstances behind Sasuke's long absence.
  • Child Prodigy:
    • Saradas's friends think so given that she's an Uchiha, though she certainly doesn't believe she's special. She quickly shows she has her mother's strength and her father's Sharingan skills though.
    • Boruto is revealed to be one, unlike both his parents.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Explained by Orochimaru of all people, he remarks that unlike Naruto's shadow clones, each Shin clone is a human being with a mind and personality of his own; Because of this all of them are sent to Kabuto's orphanage to be raised by him.
  • Cloning Blues: Shin Sr. is the original with a special DNA structure that Orochimaru picked up for his experiments and all the Shin Jrs. are clones of him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Chocho proves to be a bit...eccentric.
  • Comically Missing the Point: All of the adult cast completely misunderstand Chocho's Changeling Fantasy, and believe that she's worried about Chouji leaving on a mission without telling her.
  • Culture Clash: Karin keeping Sarada's umbilical cord in a box has Squicked out more than one Westerns readers. However, it's a Japanese tradition called "Hesono o": after the umbilical cord dries and falls off, it's placed in a special wooden box and kept both as a memento and as a well-wish for the child. And it's not restricted to Japan, either; many other Eastern countries have this tradition. It's similar to the Western tradition of cutting a lock of hair from the newborn baby and keeping it for good luck.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mitsuki seems to be a master of this.
  • Death by Irony: After spending the entire miniseries telling everyone that true evolution can only be achieved by sacrificing the weak and that children are no better then spare parts Shin gets killed when his own clones turn against him since his own weakening body and Sharingan make him obsolete as their father.
  • Death Glare: Shin and his clones are masters of this. Later when one of the Shin Jrs. uses his Mangekyo Sharingan to stare Naruto down, Kurama inflicts this on him, scaring him senseless.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: Sakura doesn't fight back after she's kidnapped by Shin Uchiha Sr. Instead, she watches him perform transplant surgery on himself, all the while discussing with him his motives. Turns out, information was all she wanted: as soon as she got everything, she prepares to punch her way out of this.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sasuke has not been present in Sarada's life at all, having left when she was a baby for his mission to find out what/who Kaguya feared enough to create an army to oppose.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Naruto's warning to Shin Jr., accentuated by Kurama's withering Death Glare. The kids take the hint and back down, looking ready to faint from fear. Notably this Death Glare hits all of the Shin Jrs thanks to their Sharingan being able to see Kurama within Naruto.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Sarada finally meets her father after most of her life not seeing him... only for Sasuke to assume she's an enemy thanks to her having unwittingly awakened her Sharingan.
    • When Sarada argues with Naruto, her rant parallels her father's words when he defected from the village. Naruto takes note of this and is able to successfully convince her to not follow in her father's footsteps.
  • Dull Surprise: While everyone else is shocked at Shin being stabbed by his "sons", Sasuke and Sakura aren't. In fact, Sakura wonders aloud why this didn't occur sooner.
    • Naruto's reaction to being stabbed in the stomach by Sasuke's sword.
  • Easily Forgiven: Why is it that Orochimaru and Kabuto are allowed to roam free after everything they've done in the past?
    • Orochimaru is not allowed to roam free, it being stated twice he is not allowed to leave his base. Further, he has not been forgiven so much as not punished as his crimes deserve. Sasuke and Sakura make no secret of how much they still dislike him.
    • Justified in Sasuke Shinden. After the utter disaster that was the Fourth Shinobi World War, in the event such a threat rises again, Sasuke, Kabuto and Orochimaru's abilities would be extremely useful.
  • Enemy Mine: The reason Orochimaru agrees to help Naruto and Sasuke track down his former student and test subject, Shin Uchiha (in addition to owing them for a number of things).
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Sarada shares with Suigetsu her suspicions that Karin is her real mother instead of Sakura, he freaks out and exclaims that Sasuke would be a complete scumbag if that were true. Although, after some thought, he doesn't rule out the possibility that Karin put the moves on Sasuke. Then, he helps Sarada find out the truth (or rather he thinks he does. in reality he doesn't know what he's doing).
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Shin Sr. has Sharingan eyes all over his body.
  • Family of Choice: Naruto helps Sarada realize that what really matters is the connection between people. Sakura may not be related to Sarada by blood but, for all intents and purposes, she is her mother and Sarada wants to save her. While in the end it is proven that she's actually Sakura's daughter, it still helps Sarada realize to love her family.
  • Fat and Skinny: Lithe and agile Sarada compared with strong, chubby Chocho.
  • Giant Mook: Shin Jr. has a giant clone of himself.
  • Handicapped Badass: Sasuke may not have gotten a prosthetic arm like Naruto did, but he's still more than capable of kicking ass. Notably he can perform hand signs with just one hand.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Despite being one of four people directly responsible for saving the world, Sakura hadn't finished paying off the loan on her house by the time the story starts.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Sasuke puts on a Jerkass front, just like he did before the timeskip. When his daughter (who he'd never even met) asks why he was never around, he simply tells her that it has nothing to do with her. The facts that he's on a top secret mission and that Sarada was targeted the moment she left Konoha do give him some credit, however.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Chocho averts this, despite her personality quirks. She warns Sarada not to trust Orochimaru, since that man... woman... whatever creeps her out.
  • I Am Not Your Father: A mother version. Sarada is dead set on figuring out her family situation and when she finds out about Karin, she considers the possibility that she may be her mother and not Sakura. A DNA test from Suigetsu seems to confirm her suspicions. But then the final chapter subverts this by revealing that what was used for the DNA test was Sarada's umbilical cord and the reason Karin had it was because she was the midwife who delivered Sarada when Sasuke and Sakura were traveling together.
  • Inter Generational Friendship: Sarada strikes one with Naruto himself, thanks to Naruto helping Sarada come to terms with her family crisis and being very supportive to her. By the end of the miniseries it seems that this bonding has caused Sarada to want to become the Hokage much like Naruto at that age (in complete contrast to Boruto).
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Karin eventually stopped pursuing Sasuke so he could get together with Sakura, flat out quoting the trope name.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • As disrespectful and bratty as Boruto is to his father, he is shown to be well-mannered (e.g., thanking Sarada for not telling Naruto his hiding spot). And underneath the attitude he projects, deep down he really loves his father.
    • Mitsuki is shown to be considerate of others' feelings, trying to help them. However, that doesn't mean he's going to be nice about it, as Chocho found out.
    • Karin was never really a bad person, but she's shown to have mellowed and matured significantly with age, having formed a trusting friendship with Sakura and become a sort of odd, unseen aunt to Sarada.
  • Karma Houdini: While he is constantly monitored by Kohona and required to assist them when needed, Orochimaru is allowed some measure of freedom in exchange despite his many crimes. This is due to how he has mellowed considerably and due to how vital his assistance was in saving the world during the last great war. He now satisfies himself with experimenting on his own body/clones rather than capturing people.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Shin Sr. calls Shin Jr. off from attacking Naruto, knowing the boy is clearly outmatched. Later, after getting Mama Bear Moded by Sakura, he retreats without delay.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Shin Sr. constantly treats his clones as disposable pawns, only for the clones to betray him for being weakened and injured, rationalizing their actions with his very own Social Darwinism.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Part of Sarada's issues with her Disappeared Dad is that she knows her father isn't around, but she doesn't know why. Her desire to know leads her make her own assumptions, and take drastic measures in finding out, with tragic results thanks to her mother not giving her satisfying answers.
  • Made of Iron: Naruto has always been this, but it's taken to an absolutely ludicrous level here. Naruto and Sasuke both react to Shin manipulating Sasuke's sword to impale Naruto straight through with what amounts to shrugs and mild annoyance. The worst anyone has to say about it is Kurama being annoyed that Naruto's senses have dulled enough that he let it happen at all.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Inverted. Chapter 1 shows us Sarada finding out about Karin. With Sakura unable to answer even basic questions about Sasuke and Shizune either unable or unwilling to answer any questions about Sarada's birth, she's naturally starting to second-guess her relation to Sakura. Despite teasing she's not Sakura's, she is proven to be her legitimate daughter in the end.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sasuke when he realises he almost struck his own daughter with his sword thinking she was another of Shin’s clones.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Sarada doesn't get why everyone's so gung-ho about being a ninja and she doesn't really care to be one either. After traveling with Naruto, she wants to become a great Hokage like him.
  • Noodle Incident: The mission mentioned by Karin that she had with Sasuke and Sakura in which Sakura gave birth to Sarada.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: What Suigetsu's well-meaning attempt to help Sarada amounted to. Turns out that picking a random object from someone's desk and assuming it belongs to them is a huge mistake. Who'd have thought? Karin chews him out and says he has to apologize to Sarada for the pain he put her through.
  • Offing the Offspring: Played straight with Shin Sr., then inverted.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the last half of the story, Ino and Choji completed a mission difficult enough that the latter had to use his Calorie Control.
  • Organ Theft: Shin Sr. personally guts Shin Jr. to get a replacement liver.
  • Orphanage of Love: Kabuto is shown to have followed in his foster mother's footsteps, despite still retaining physical traces of his time as Orochimaru's successor.
  • Papa Wolf: Both Naruto and Sasuke have become this.
    • Sasuke deeply cares about Sarada's safety. He's willing to block some kunai with his own body and goes all-out when attacking Shin Sr.'s base, since he made the mistake of targeting his wife and daughter.
    • Naruto is this not only to his children, but to all other children as well. He protects Sarada and Chocho from Shin Jr. and gets furious when he realizes that Shin Sr. used not just any child, but his own son as a shield.
  • Parents as People:
    • Sasuke left Konoha to investigate a potential threat some time after his daughter, Sarada Uchiha was born. It's been so long that he doesn't recognize her at first.
    • Naruto's duties as Hokage keep him very busy, so he can't spend as much time as he used to with his family. This has driven a wedge between him and his son, Boruto.
  • Security Cling: Sarada holds on to Naruto's jacket when Shins Sr. and Jr. attack the tower, looking terrified.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Shin Sr., via a weird looking creature resembling Deidara's creations or the mini Ten-Tails spawn.
  • Sequel Series: Or rather, Sequel Mini Series.
  • Ship Sinking: After a few teasing, this miniseries puts the final nail in the coffin of the Sasuke/Karin ship.
  • Smash Sisters: Sarada and Chouchou not only are close friends, but have potential to become this.
  • Smug Super: Shin is so confident and arrogant in his abilities that he attacks Sasuke and Naruto head-on with only one of his clones. His cunning, pragmatism and cruelty almost allowed him to win against the two when he surprised them with his telekinetic eye powers and the fact that he kept targeting Sarada, forcing them to take hits they would otherwise easily avoid.
  • Snooping Little Kid: Sarada and Chocho follow Naruto with the intention of being led to their fathers (the real one and the "real" one), but Naruto was aware that they were trailing him.
  • Social Darwinism: In a carbon copy of Orochimaru's ideology before his questionable Heel–Face Turn, Shin Sr. believes that peace prevents evolution from happening and this will mean the eventual end of mankind. With that, he manages to mix Social Darwinism with War Is Glorious all in one sentence. His effort to resurrect Akatsuki can be seen as a way to restart the "evolution".
  • Spin-Offspring: This focuses on the kids of the main characters.
  • Tagalong Kid: After Sarada and Chocho follow Naruto out of the village and are attacked by Shin, he allows them to come along so that Sarada can meet her dad. He also feels she'd be safer with him than if he sent her back, now that she's being targeted.
  • Take That, Audience!: One purpose of this gaiden seems to be to riff people who both disliked the Sasuke/Sakura pairing and also suggested that Karin was actually Sarada's mother. Also, Karin stating that she and Sakura are friends - she even states that women have a certain camaraderie, completely dispelling any fans who assumed she and Sakura would be catty to each other.
  • Taking the Bullet: Sasuke uses his body to shield his daughter Sarada from Shin Uchiha Sr.'s blades.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Shin Sr. can use Kamui through his pet.
  • Tell Me About My Father!: Sarada wants to know more about Sasuke, whom she's never met.
    • Invoked nearly word for word when she asks Sakura this, starting from whether he wore glasses to asking why she has never seen him. When she starts asking whether she is really her daughter, this angers Sakura, who punches the ground in the process. However after seeing Sarada in tears, Sakura understands that she is simply starved for a father's affection so she tells her the importance of what he is doing, and assuring her that he will be back.
    • Naruto proves to be more forthcoming in this regard, though he's still glossing over Sasuke's past. The fact that Naruto does even that much leaves her immensely happy and driven to see him... until she says that he has trouble recognizing her.
  • To Be a Master: Sarada takes up Naruto's old standard: To become Hokage.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sarada is the Tomboy (snarky and serious) to her best friend Chouchou Akimichi's Girly Girl (who calls herself and Sarada "maidens", thinks boys are after her and believes her "glass heart" can't handle the Uchiha family drama).
  • Trauma Conga Line: In short order, Sarada begins doubting Sakura is her real mother, finds evidence that is the case, but no-one will talk to her about it. She goes looking for her father, whom she's never met, and is attacked by a strange boy with a Sharingan. When she finally meets her father, he nearly attacks her thinking she's an enemy and then coldly dismisses her questions. She then watches Sakura get abducted by the bad guys, then finds evidence that she's not even her real birth mother. When Naruto suggests they go save her mother, Sarada rounds on him with her Sharingan activated and snaps that Sakura isn't her mother and she has no reason to care about people who lied to her whole life. However, Naruto manages to calm her down and keep her from following in her father's footsteps. In the end, she learns that Sakura was her real mother after all, recovers, forms a better bond with her family, and becomes a happier person.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Averted. Unlike most Uchiha, who awaken their Sharingan through survival instinct, rage, or a traumatic experience, Sarada activates her Sharingan for the first time out of joy and excitement when she is finally going to meet her father. Naruto assumes she awakened them due to believing Sakura wasn't her birth mother.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Naruto takes note of how much Sarada resembles Sasuke and jokes that it would become uncanny if she awakened the Sharingan. When he thinks she's done so after learning of her "true" parentage, he talks her down from unwittingly following in her father's footsteps by abandoning the village out of anger.
  • Victory Is Boring: After the war, Kurama spends most of his time sleeping and complaining about having nothing to do. He's practically giddy when Naruto lets him loose for battle; Naruto actually has to hold him back from going all-out against a bunch of kids.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Sasuke wears a stylish blue-gray vest over his shirt.
  • Walking Transplant: Shin's father freely uses him for organ donation, even if it will kill him. There's more where he came from.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Naruto is disturbed when Orochimaru says Shin's clones are expendable beings once they've outlived their usefulness. He later makes it a point to offer the kids a new home in the Orphanage of Love Kabuto runs, hoping that with time and proper training they will learn to fit in with others.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Naruto's battle senses have dulled over the past decade due to his position of being Hokage and not consistently training like he did when he was a teenager. Kurama pointed this out during Naruto's battle with Shin and his father and Naruto wholeheartedly agreed, stating that his performance was pathetic.
    • Sasuke couldn't use his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan - Tomoe Rinnegan during his first clash with Shin Sr. because he was low on chakra from traveling between dimensions. He recovers soon enough, however, and pays back Shin with interest.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Shin Sr., in spades.
    • He targets Sarada with his flying daggers the moment Naruto's Tailed Beast Mode shielding her starts fading, knowing that Sasuke would use his own body to protect her.
    • He's completely unconcerned about putting Shin Jr. in harm's way, using the boy as a shield or as an organ donor.
    • Despite being injured and betrayed by his clones, he still tries to kidnap Sakura and Chocho with his teleporting creature. Thankfully Sarada saw an end to that.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: All of the Shin Jrs. eventually decide that since they are newer than their "father", they are also stronger and act accordingly.

Alternative Title(s): Naruto Gaiden The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring